Hot Take: Is it OK if I say you might want to skip it? (Especially if you have high expectations… Sorry, couldn’t help myself!)
American Ultra might be dubbed a stoner, action comedy but it’s more a violent, end of summer leftover with an occasional laugh and some drugs.
If anything, the stoner portrayal is a lazy driver of the narrative that both Jesse Eisenberg’s Mike Howell and Kristen Stewart’s Phoebe Larson are unmotivated and unaccomplished. It might be the first movie featuring weed without using it as a comedic device.
The movie is violent along the lines of Kick-Ass. Okay, maybe not that violent but it’s pretty darn violent. For Ultra to really work, it would be advised to go in giving the movie little thought and staying there throughout.
“Spoiler Free” Pros:
- It’s Easy to Root For Eisenberg & Stewart
The pairing of Eisenberg and Stewart works as a couple. If anything, American Ultra has put 2009’s Adventureland on my “Movies I Missed And Need to See” list.
- The Occasional Comedy Is Very Funny
There’s not enough of it but when Ultra tries to be funny, it’s funny. John Leguizamo gets laughs as drug dealer Rose. His henchmen Lavelle Crawford and Sam Malone are also funny. A poorly timed bathroom trip and you’ll miss it, though.
- The Cartoonish Action Goes Well With The Ultra-Violence
If the action was more realistic, the over-the-top violence might be a little unnerving. However, the action is as unbelievable as the resulting damage done.
“Spoiler Free” Cons:
- Topher Grace
Is movie Topher Grace capable of playing anything other than a complete asshat?
- The Opening “Rewind” Is A Let Down
We’ve already seen too much in the trailer (a problem many subpar releases have). This roll back through the entire movie is way too foreshadowing.
- Does Every Movie Have to Have A Sequel Set-Up?
Is this a spoiler anymore? The story continues at the end enough for one to speculate “Can they really make an American Ultra 2?”